Month: September 2019

SLHS Colloquium: Dr. Rupal Patel

Just a reminder that the next SLHS Colloquium is October 2nd at 12:30 in Theater 2 HBL.  The speaker will be:

Dr. Rupal Patel, Northeastern University

Voice Sharing and the Creation of Personalized Vocal Persona 

If anyone is interested in going to lunch after Dr. Patel’s talk, or meeting with her after lunch please let me know.

Carl Coelho

NICHD funded post doctorates, Baby’s First Years Study

We are seeking one or more post-doctorate candidates to apply for postdoctoral funding to work with a principal investigator of the Baby’s First Years Study, through an NIH administrative supplement. The candidates must meet the NIH’s specified eligibility as a member of an under-represented group in the health-related sciences.

If approved for funding, the position will be a 2-year appointment at one of the PI universities (Duke; Teachers College Columbia University; University of California, Irvine; University of Wisconsin-Madison). Which university the position is housed in will depend on whether the successful applicant is best matched with one of the PIs in the social and behavioral sciences (Drs. Greg Duncan, Lisa Gennetian or Katherine Magnuson) or neuroscience (Dr. Kimberly Noble).

Once a candidate is identified, details about the position appointment and formal application with the named candidate will move forward to NICHD for review. This process can take up to a year.

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest and fit with the job and a CV to Applications will be reviewed as received. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

BFY Study description

The Baby’s First Years study is a pathbreaking random-assignment study of the impact of monthly unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers of infants during the first three years of their child’s life. The aim is to understand the causal effects of poverty reduction on family life and early childhood development in order to inform policy. As of June 2019, 1,000 racially and ethnically diverse mothers have been recruited from hospitals shortly after giving birth in each of four metropolitan areas New York City, New Orleans, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Forty percent of the mothers in each site were randomized to receive $333/month in cash and 60 percent receive $20/month in cash. More about the study, media coverage, and its motivation can be found here, here and here.

Data are being collected by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center: mothers and children will be visited in their homes at child ages 12 and 24, and then will be brought to university labs at child age 36 months. Data collection includes surveys about economic and employment, child care, and other aspects of family life, mother’s mental and physical health, and well-being; maternal and children’s hair cortisol, epigenetics, child EEG measures of brain activity, and a full battery of child cognitive and behavioral assessments at 36 months.

This unique multi-institution, multi-site, and multi-year study is led by principal investigators Greg Duncan (University of California Irvine), Nathan Fox (University of Maryland), Lisa Gennetian (Duke University), Katherine Magnuson (Lead, social and behavioral science, University of Wisconsin Madison), Kimberly Noble (Lead, neuroscience, Teachers College, Columbia University), and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (New York University). The PIs are also collaborating with a team of neuroscientists at each site who will assist with measurement of children’s brain development at 36 months old. Finally, Sarah Halpern-Meeking (UW Madison) is also directing a longitudinal qualitative study with a random subset of families from two of the four sites.

BFY Post docotorate Qualifications


  • Within 5 years of a PhD in child development, economics, neuroscience, public policy, psychology, sociology, or related field.
  • Strong quantitative research skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Oral and written fluency in Spanish; fully bilingual/bicultural a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience with experimental (randomized) study designs a plus
  • Meets NIH’s definition of a scholar from an under-represented group based on race/ethnicity, disability, or a disadvantaged background:
    • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the
      Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see NOT-OD-15-089.
    • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data
    • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as: 1) Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at OR 2) Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

CogSci Colloquium: Aaron Shield

Friday, November 1st

Time: 4:00pm

Room: Oak Hall 117

The Cognitive Science Colloquium Series is proud to present Aaron Shield, Professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Miami University of Ohio.

Dr. Shield will provide a talk entitled Insights into cognitive and linguistic processes from research on autism and sign language

Abstract: In this talk, I will discuss how research into the signed languages of the deaf has the power to illuminate big questions about human language. By comparing spoken and signed languages, we gain a better understanding of what language is, how children learn languages, and how to best characterize and treat language disorders. In particular, I will show how research into the acquisition of American Sign Language (ASL) by deaf children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sheds new light on various questions about acquisition, such as how children imitate linguistic forms, how children use pronouns and other words that refer to self and other, and how language exposure may affect other aspects of cognition.

Contact Inge-Marie Eigsti ( to schedule a meeting with Prof. Shield.

Learn more about Aaron Shield.

Post doctoral positions at Indiana–developing visual environments

Post-doctoral fellow position(s) to the study of the natural visual environments of infants and young children and their implications for visual, cognitive and language development and machine learning at Indiana University.    The larger collaborative project involves analyses of the properties of a very large corpus of head camera images (500 million) collected by infants 1 to 24 months of age with respect to low, mid and higher level properties, the examination of the statistical structure of early learned visual categories (and their in-home naming by parents), the design and implementation of computational experiments using machine learning and computer vision models, as well as experiments with infants testing novel predictions from these analyses and models.  The post-doctoral fellow(s) will take part in the intellectually rich cognitive science, computational neuroscience, vision, developmental, and computer science communities at Indiana University under the Emerging Areas of Research Initiative titled Learning: Brains, Machines and Children.  Collaborators on the larger project include Linda Smith, David Crandall, Franco Pestilli, Rowan Candy, Jason Gold, and Chen Yu. 

This is an excellent opportunity for individuals with past training in one or more of the following:  infant statistical learning, infant visual development (including face and object perception), visual neuroscience, adult vision, computer vision. Other areas of training with computational and/or experimental backgrounds will be considered.

Please apply to Linda Smith,, with Visual Environments in the subject heading by sending a cover letter stating your interest in this project, your cv, and a research statement.  References will be requested after initial contact.

The filling of these position(s) are open in their timing; although we hope to appoint one position this fall, January or this spring are also possible start dates. 

Linda B. Smith
Distinguished Professor
Psychological and Brain Sciences
1101 East 10th Street
Indiana University
Bloomington IN 47405

Message from Dean Juli Wade: CLAS Research Conversations

Dear CLAS faculty:

 One of the priorities of CLAS is to facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship, and the diversity of disciplines within the college provides substantial and unique opportunities.   In an effort to stimulate connections that will lead to novel cross-cutting research (and potentially graduate training), CLAS will host CLAS Research Conversations this academic year based on faculty ideas for areas of synergy.

These events will be held 3:30-5pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  The first half of the event will involve 5-minute talks by several faculty members describing their work on the topic and related areas of interest – 3 slide maximum (and no cheating with animation)!  The second half will allow time to discuss opportunities and next steps as a group and in smaller conversations.  CLAS will provide beverages and appetizers.

 Proposed ideas for topics should be submitted to and should span at least 4 CLAS departments.  The document must include a paragraph of rationale, proposed speakers, and a list of up to 20 additional faculty members to invite.  The CLAS dean and associate deans will review the proposals and may add faculty members who work in related areas for events that go forward.   Our office will issue invitations and take care of the logistics related to hosting.   The proposer(s) is(are) expected to emcee.

 The first event will be on October 16th in the Heritage Room of the Library (4th floor), and they will continue throughout the year in the same location as long as solid ideas are proposed (11/20, 12/18, 1/22, 2/19, 3/18, 4/15, 5/20).   Please submit proposals at any time for dates that are good for you; they will be reviewed as they come in.  We are looking forward to seeing what develops!


Juli Wade


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Connecticut

215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098

Storrs, CT 06269